California mother of two Sherri Papini, who claims she was kidnapped for almost a month and brutally tortured, has returned to her Redding home.
After she was found following the kidnapping in November, she and her family left Redding to spend time away from the media.
But yesterday Papini was spotted back at her house, walking outside to fill a container with water. Reports say she looked thinner and was hiding her blonde hair. Her husband Keith claimed the kidnappers chopped off her hair in an interview with 20/20 while the woman who found Sherri on the side of the road after her kidnapping claims she still had her long hair.
Because of the strange nature of the kidnapping, the Internet is full of theories that Papini staged the entire thing for attention. Many elements of the case were unusual. For one the kidnappers were two Hispanic woman and their target was a middle-aged woman. The kidnappers never asked for ransom and apparently just let her go after starving, torturing and branding her. People rarely survive after being kidnapped for so long.
The Shasta County Sheriff’s office was forced to deny allegations that the kidnapping was a hoax after a lone officer leaked a suggestion that Papini manufactured the crime.
Some speculate that the kidnapping was human trafficking related because of the branding, but middle-aged women are almost never abducted for the purpose of human trafficking.
The Papinis were also the recipients of a $50,000 GoFundMe campaign.
The latest and most compelling theory making the rounds on the Sherri Papini subreddit pertains to a Mercari account that appears to belong to Papini. Mercari is an online shopping website where users can sell items. It appears that items for sale on Papini’s account were updated while she was supposedly kidnapped.
The theory alleges she listed seven items for sale on November 21, three days before she was found on the side of the road. It has not been confirmed whether the account actually belongs to Sherri Papini, and it has since been deleted.
“There is no expiration, auto-renewal feature or any automatic listing option, she would have had to individually post each listing at that time (annoying if you trying to post a lot at once),” one Redditor wrote responding to the theory. “Could it have been Keith trying to sell stuff?”
“We are aware of the account activity and the activity has been accounted for,” the email read.
Does that mean Keith was updating his wife’s sale items while he thought she was kidnapped or possibly dead? Or was the activity simply automatic?
As of yet, the sheriff’s office has not made any arrests related to the kidnapping.